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Phytogeographic aspects of Lysionotus pauciflorus sensu lato (Gesneriaceae) in the China, Japan and Taiwan regions: phylogenetic and morphological relationships and taxonomic consequences

Abstract

Comparison of leaf morphometric variation and phylogenetic analyses based on nrITS and partial trnC-D cpDNA sequences were conducted for samples of Lysionotus pauciflorus sensu lato collected from China, Japan and Taiwan. In the morphometric comparison, leaves of plants from Japan proper and those from Taiwan proper were not significantly distinguishable by their leaf length to width ratio. In phylogenetic analyses, monophyly of L. pauciflorus s. l. samples was strongly supported, and Japanese and Taiwanese samples fell into a clade separate from Chinese samples. In the Japan–Taiwan clade, plants from Japan proper formed a sister clade to those from Okinawa Island (Japan) and Taiwan. The present results suggest that (1) the L. pauciflorus s. l. samples from China, Japan and Taiwan must be treated as a single species; (2) L. pauciflorus s. l. originated in China; (3) a single dispersal event, dispersal via a land-bridge during low sea levels in a Pleistocene glacial maximum, from China to Taiwan and Japan is proposed; (4) three oversea dispersal events, probably through anemochory, to Japan proper, across the Tokara Gap, to Okinawa islands crossing the Kerama Gap, and from Taiwan to Lanyu Island are proposed. The study gives further insight into the biogeographical dynamics between the Ryukyus and surrounding areas.

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Acknowledgments

We thank C.-I Huang (HAST), T. Minamitani, M. Morimoto, the Motobu Municipal Museum and S. Azuma for providing plant materials. We also thank K. Nakamura (HAST) for valuable suggestions. This study was conducted in connection with projects on the “Integration of Systematics and Molecular Phylogenetics in All Groups of Organisms” and “Taxonomic and Conservation Studies on Endangered Plant Species in Japan” managed by the National Museum of Nature and Science, and supported in part by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research Program C (JSPS; no. 20510220; G.K.) and 21st Century COE program of the University of the Ryukyus (M.Y.). RBGE is supported by the Scottish Government Rural and Environment Research and Analysis Directorate (RERAD). The field work of M.M. was supported by the Percy Sladen Memorial Fund, Oleg Polunin Memorial Fund, and Davis Expedition Fund of the University of Edinburgh.

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Correspondence to Goro Kokubugata.

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Supplementary Fig. 1

Phylogram of one of eight most parsimonious trees for 56 samples of five species of Lysionotus species based on ITS and partial trnC-D spacer sequences, with suggested dispersal routes and means (PDF 62 kb)

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Kokubugata, G., Hirayama, Y., Peng, CI. et al. Phytogeographic aspects of Lysionotus pauciflorus sensu lato (Gesneriaceae) in the China, Japan and Taiwan regions: phylogenetic and morphological relationships and taxonomic consequences. Plant Syst Evol 292, 177–188 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00606-010-0410-2

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Keywords

  • Gesneriaceae
  • Lysionotus
  • Leaf morphology
  • Phytogeography
  • Ryukyus